Canonbury rabbi wants to revive the Jewish community

A rabbi seeking to boost Islington’s Jewish community has launched a centre for the faith from his home.

The borough was once popular among Jews moving from the East End and the City, particularly around the former North London Synagogue in Lofting Road, Barnsbury, but that closed in 1958 – and now there are no synagogues left.

But Rabbi Mendy Korer hopes to spark a revival of the community and will start by hosting events from his house in Wallace Road, Canonbury.

“There are many Jewish people in the borough,” he said. “Some are religious, but there is a large population of secular Jewish people.

“The main thing we’re looking to do is reach out to secular people and help them feel more aware of their Jewish identity.”

The 29-year-old, who recently returned from an assistant rabbi post in New Jersey in America, is setting up the group under the auspices of a worldwide movement called Chabad.

He plans to host Friday night dinners and organise pub gatherings, coffee meetings and park outings in Highbury Fields, Highbury. And he wants to grab the attention of Islington’s young professionals by putting on singles parties. He added: “We hope to start a synagogue one day as well.”